Feeds

MS wins Isle of Man government IT deal

Open Source didn't make the shortlist

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Isle of Man government is to migrate its IT infrastructure onto the Windows Server 2003 platform. It has begun the move from its current mix of Novell, Sun and UNIX and expects to complete the transfer by 2006.

The contract with Microsoft covers around 200 application servers. Allan Paterson, director of information systems division of the IoM's treasury, said the need to consolidate systems under the Island's JUPITER (Joined Up Information for the Electronic Resident) programme provides rationale for the project.

"What we have is a very fragmented application base. Every solution is a point solution, because every department works to its own authority. The only central control has been budgetary. The result is that I have no idea how many databases we have with, for example, citizen's names and addresses in," he said. "So we need to join it up."

The servers, currently scattered across 140 locations, are being relocated to two data centres.

According to Patterson, the decision to go with Microsoft will reduce the portfolio of tools the IoM uses and reduce the number of skills needed to run IT in-house: "Historically we've had one person per product," he said. The availability of skills in third party partners and the wealth of off-the-shelf software also tilted the scales in Microsoft's favour.

"I don't have a department the scale of the UK government, but I have to offer a similar breadth of service with a very tight and finite resource," said Paterson. "And I have to deliver significantly improved services. So we've got this down to a set of core skills and need to make sure we have enterprise management around it."

Although part of the British Isles, the Isle of Man is not part of the UK and does not have to follow the same procurement rules, Paterson explained. It is under no obligation to consider open source, or even to open the bid process up to competitive tendering. If the Manx government officials can persuade the Treasury that there is a business case for not having a full tender, then they can avoid it and just buy from their chosen supplier.

Paterson is "blessed" with not having to consider open source as an option: "I believe open source solutions are all point solutions. It is really about technology for technology's sake."

The Isle of Man's position as a financial centre means it cannot afford to take business issues lightly: this is part of the reason Paterson is reluctant to engage the open source community. He says, in slightly guarded tones, that Linux people tend to be more technology than business focused.

The IoM government has anti-virus software running in three layers. "We are double and triple checking where appropriate," Paterson says. He thinks the security issues around Microsoft had become a bit overblown: "The biggest player is always targeted like this." ®

Related stories

Use Linux and you will be sued, Ballmer tells governments
Microsoft opens e-gov collaboration portal
Novell fires counterblast at Ballmer Linux summary

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.